California Secures $103 Million To Address 'Urgent' Environmental Crisis

By iHeartRadio

April 11, 2024

Photo: Armastas/iStock/Getty Images

California has secured $103 million in federal funding to address the ongoing sewage crisis in the Tijuana River. The funds will be used to repair and expand the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant, which has been struggling with operational and maintenance issues due to increased wastewater flows from the Tijuana River, per California Construction News.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the funding, which is part of the FY 2024 appropriations package, on March 21.

"The package announced today secures urgently needed federal funding – over $100 million more than last year – to help repair the federal South Bay plant and fix the sewage crisis that San Diego communities have dealt with for far too long," Newsom said in a statement shared on his official website. "Congress must act quickly to approve this funding, our communities cannot afford to wait."

The Newsom Administration has been working closely with the Biden-Harris Administration, Senators Alex Padilla and Laphonza Butler, the San Diego County Congressional delegation, and state and local leaders to push for urgent federal action to address the contamination in the cross-border river.

Sen. Padilla also announced the funding on his website, emphasizing the urgency of the situation.

"For far too long, toxic waste and raw sewage have flowed across the border, not only creating health and environmental hazards for local communities, but jeopardizing the readiness of our military personnel," said Padilla. "We need an urgent, all-hands-on-deck effort to combat this pollution crisis."

The appropriations bill also includes a provision that allows other federal agencies and state and local governments to contribute funds to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the wastewater treatment plant.

The South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant has been dealing with increased wastewater flows and maintenance costs since 2020. The new funding solidifies the U.S. EPA’s and federal government’s commitment to ensuring that the plant’s expanded capacity and deferred maintenance challenges are addressed as quickly as possible.

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